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Range-topping 2013 Exposure Reflex Mk1 light adjusts to the trail

14:57 20th August 2012 by John Stevenson
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British lighting manufacturer Exposure has just unveiled the latest in its range of single-can off-road headlamps, the £449.95 Reflex Mk 1.

Exposure’s Reflex Mk 1 light adjusts its brightness according to your speed.

The flagship of the 2013 Exposure range the Reflex Mk 1 puts out a claimed 2,200 lumens from its three XML LED emitters – more than the previous top-of-the-range Six Pack –  but at 252g weighs less than 2012’s number two model, the Maxx-D.

But more light and less weight isn’t the whole story, welcome though that is in any light. Exposure has built two very clever new features into the Reflex Mk 1.

The first is Reflex Technology, which uses a combination of accelerometers and temperature gauges to estimate your speed and therefore how much light you need. Because the Reflex has an aluminium body that reacts quickly to cooling from air flow, John Cookson of USE says that this gives a usefully accurate indication of your speed.

“There’s been lots of product development time in this,”  John tells Bikemagic over the phone from Exposure HQ in West Sussex. “Lots of test runs with a back up light on the handlebars just in case.”

No need to remember what the functions do; they’re summarised on the body of the light.

“We’ve now got it working really well, to the point where you almost don’t notice it happening as you ride. You crest a hill and start to accelerate and the light just brightens so you can see where you’re going. Get to the bottom and slow down and it dims to conserve battery power.”

As well as reacting to your riding speed, the Reflex Mk 1 can be set to behave differently according to the type of riding you’re doing. Exposure calls this Optimised Mode Selector (OMS) and it provides no fewer than 11 different modes that give run times from 2 to 36 hours for a range of uses from commuting to dark-of-the-moon off road night riding.

To set the mode, “you don’t need a USB cable or anything like that,” says John. Instead, you switch mode with a single button on the back of the light, and a numerical display tells you which one you’re in. You don’t need to remember what they are or carry round a manual either as there’s a simple list printed on the underside of the light.

Initially, only the Reflex light will get Reflex Technology, according to John. “It will no doubt
filter down the range in the future,” he says.

Numerical LEDs indicate the mode you’re selected.

Most of the 2013 Exposure range will get the OMS function though. “This will be in the range right down to the Joystick,” says John. “It’ll raise most of the maximum outputs by 25% and provide a better output selection to make the lights more adaptable to a number of potential uses.”

The Reflex Mk 1 will be available at the end of August.

For more information see Exposure Lights.

Three XML LEDs pump out a retina-searing 2200 lumens.

  1. Paul Testa

    what about steep slow stuff when you want loads of light, but may only be traveling at climbing speed?

    1. shirkaholic

      I think at 2200 Lumen output, even at the lowest output there will be plenty enought light for climbing and without blinding any air traffic in the area.
      I do like the idea of speed related output, just like my dynamo from 40 years ago ;-)

      1. hopkinsgm

        Ah, fond memories of cranking hard, dynamo pushing out plenty of juice and then it all going dark when the lamp cried ‘no more’ and the bulb blew. Let’s hope Exposure haven’t aimed to replicate the dynamo experience *that* accurately!

  2. Matt Crook

    sounds like a terrible idea to me. What sort of trails is this calibrated on? Smooth trails where speed is directly proportional to light needed? What about picking through rock gardens where you need as much light as possible? Or, as Paul said, super slow steep stuff? I went down a DH yesterday at 4-5mph steep enough that the rear tire was constantly on the point of locking up. That would be truly terrifying.

    I just hope that this light has a non-light sensing mode.

  3. Graham

    2200 lumens is more than my Volvo puts out on dipped beam. Badly aligned on the road this will (quite rightly) attract the attention of the boys in blue, as a hazard to other road users.
    If USE and other manufacturers are going to offer such high light outputs for a bicycle light they need to recognize that not every rider will understand how to use the light with due consideration to others, and this could result in a substantial law suit.
    I’m old enough to remember that a small number of drivers in the USA found that their UK car ‘drove off on its own accord and hit the vehicle in front despite my foot being on the brake’. Today,legislators require that the car is designed to need you to have your foot on the brake before you can engage drive in an automatic gearbox!
    To me, 900 lumens is more than adequate and better battery endurance/battery life would be more attractive than a searchlight on my handlebars.

  4. David French

    @Graham & Matt… That’s probably why there’s different modes :-P

    I certainly wouldn’t mind at least having a go with a light that’s a) as bright and b) has this function. I’d be interested to know at what point it is that lights get so bright they make a dazzling reflection off things.

  5. Rich T

    Amazing how many negative comments this gets. What a great idea. As David comments, and as it says in the wright up, you can run the light in manual mode if required. And Graham, your Volvo has high beam too, so what is to stop an idiot using that at the wrong time? I’ve ordered one and can’t wait for it to arrive… at near 50 years old, the brighter the better!

  6. Pete

    Great write up John. I have also posted a detailed review of the Exposure Reflex. In short IMO
    the future belongs to smaller, lighter, brighter, smarter lights. Reflex tech is definitely one way to get there.

    http://digitalhippie.net/mountain-biking/mtb-reviews/exposure-reflex-mk1-review/

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